About Kids' Science Projects

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About Kids' Science Projects
About Kids' Science Projects

Science projects, field trips, experiments and guest speakers are all methods to hold and spark children's interest, especially in the area of science. Learning basic scientific concepts and facts is more memorable to a child if she can see the principle or theory in action. Who doesn't remember the first time they watched a vinegar-and-baking-soda volcano erupt, spilling its chemically reactive "lava" down the sides of an inverted clay or paper mache cone? Science projects help kids heighten their awareness of the world around them and become familiar with the various laws that govern the universe.

  1. Science Projects for the Young Child

    • Even preschoolers can benefit from carrying out a science project or experiment at home or with other kids as a group activity in day-care or Head Start programs. Children need to satisfy their insatiable curiosity about life. Science projects for the young child in preschool or first or second grade can focus on the natural world; kids generally gravitate toward insects, animals, flowers, mud puddles bubbles anyway. Some high-interest science projects that require little skill on the part of a child include starting an ant colony, growing a seed in a cup or a pot, monitoring the complete metamorphosis of a butterfly larvae, studying the different colors in a rainbow and learning how light can be separated through a prism to form a spectrum. Complicated concepts in biology, physics and chemistry can be taught in a simple, introductory manner to nurture a love of science in young kids.

    Elementary School Science Projects

    • As children mature, they're ready to build on the foundations they learned about science at a young age. During elementary school, science can begin to bore students unless it's presented in an exciting manner, with plenty of hands-on projects and experiments. Encouraging elementary school-aged kids to keep asking why and how is critical. Kids this age love "gross-out" projects such as studying the behavior of cockroaches; frog races; making "slime" using glue, water and borax; or logging the different effects of certain foods on the tongue's taste buds. Digging, preparing and planting a garden takes the preschooler's science project of growing a bean plant in a Styrofoam cup to the next level. While the science projects are fun, they still explore the complex concepts of life science, neuroscience, chemistry and biology.

    Science Projects for Middle Schoolers

    • Middle-school-aged kids need even more encouragement to view science in a positive light through science projects. They're ready for projects that focus on discovering more about electricity, weather, aerodynamics, recycling and biology. Experimenting with designing the most aerodynamic paper airplanes, learning how paper is recycled by making more paper from used paper, devising a container to protect an egg dropped from a window, blowing up balloons using the reaction from vinegar and baking soda are all good science project ideas for middle-schoolers. Building and launching rockets is a favorite science project for some kids this age, as well as buying build-your-own robot kits.

    High School Science Projects

    • Kids in high school delve into new areas of science that they may not have been exposed to in elementary or middle school. Science projects involving psychology might be interesting to some students. Some of these may include projects that study the effects of color on mood or how playing video games may affect a person's blood pressure or physiology. Students may be interested in learning more about solar or alternative energy, creating science projects about photovoltaic cells or windmills to generate electricity. In-depth studies of animal behavior, such as determining whether animals can differentiate between colors or the effect of music animals, are age-appropriate projects for the high school student.

    Understanding the Scientific Method

    • No matter what age kids may be or what science project they choose, they need to understand why they are conducting the experiment or undertaking the project. Forming a hypothesis is essential to any science project. Kids come up with an idea to explain what they think will be the outcome of their projects or experiments. Teaching them to observe all aspects of the project and collect data pertaining to it, either informally or formally, is crucial to the scientific method. Whether a child guesses right or wrong about the project's outcome isn't really important. What is important is to show kids that we encounter problems every day that need solutions. Science projects help kids to continue to ask questions, seek answers, and look for solutions to potential problems all throughout their lives.

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  • Photo Credit (Photo byTamar Hayardeni/Wikimedia Commons)

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